SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Once the Crimson Tide got rolling, not even top-seeded Stanford could stop them.
With a stirring second-half comeback, eighth-seeded Alabama engineered one of the biggest upsets of the NCAA Tournament with a 70-67 victory over stunned Stanford in the Phoenix Region.
"It's a great accomplishment for them," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "They've believed the whole time and they have responded in an unbelievable way."
Trailing by 13 points with nine minutes to go and seemingly flat, the Crimson Tide (19-12) put together a 16-0 run that swung the momentum and gave them the lead for good. They extended their lead to seven points in the final minute, then held on.
The Cardinal (30-2), which entered the NCAA Tournament as the top-ranked team in the nation, went scoreless for over six minutes and resorted to desperation play in the final minute. They saw starters Josh Childress and Justin Davis foul out and heard chants of "Overrated!" from the KeyArena crowd.
"We talk about clamping down on teams when you've got a lead, and we just didn't do that," Stanford center Rob Little said.
"I don't think we let down in any way," forward Dan Grunfeld said. "The tide shifted."
When Grunfeld's potential tying 3-pointer came up short, his teammates put their hands to their heads, wearing expressions of disbelief as Stanford was bounced in the second round for the third straight year.
"I don't think everyone believed it when we came in (the locker room); we were just quiet," Stanford forward Matt Haryasz said. "I won't let this happen again. I don't ever, ever want to have this feeling again. I know all the guys feel the same way."
Perhaps not all the guys.
"I think you guys look at the past too much, in all honesty," Childress said. "We're talking right now, we're talking this year about our 30-2 season ... We had a great year."
Kennedy Winston scored 21 points and Earnest Shelton added 14 for Alabama, which made 34-of-44 free throws and advanced to face defending national champion Syracuse on Friday.
Alabama trailed just 39-37 at halftime but began the second half with a funk that saw it miss 16 of its first 17 shots. A jumper by Matt Lottich gave Stanford a 53-40 lead at the 9:12 mark.
"Even when we we down (13), I knew that we were going to win this game," Alabama's Chuck Davis said. "I never felt like we were out of it."
The Tide also missed 15 of its first 16 3-pointers before Winston and Shelton struck from the arc to make it 53-48 with 5:50 left. Evan Brock and Chuck Davis each made two free throws and Antoine Pettway drained a 3-pointer to give Alabama the lead for good at 55-53 with 4:04 to go.
"We weren't making shots and at the start of the second half we talked about getting to the rim," Gottfried said. "Ife we're not making shots, we need to be getting to the foul line."
A pair of baskets by Haryasz stopped the drought but not the momentum. Brock dunked before 'Bama began a parade to the foul line, making 11-of-12 during one stretch.
"We just kept taking it inside and they were just trying to sit back in the paint instead of spreading out, so we were trying to take advantage," Shelton said.
Two free throws by Pettway made it 69-62 with 22 seconds to play. Justin Davis had a follow shot and Lottich a 3-pointer around a free throw by Winston, and the Cardinal fouled Shelton with 5.6 ticks left. He missed both, but so did Grunfeld.
Shelton scored 14 points, 11 on free throws. Pettway and Chuck Davis added 12 apiece for the Tide, which reached the "Sweet 16" for the first time since 1991.
This has been anything but the "Emerald City" for Stanford, which suffered its lone regular-season loss to the University of Washington scant miles away.
Justin Davis had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Childress scored 12 points and Lottich 11 but the duo combined to make just 9-of-32 shots.
Stanford fell to 0-2 against Alabama, also losing in the first round of the 1992 NCAA Tournament.